“Kalisz free from fascism”. Residents react to anti-Semitic events on November 11

Kalisz was splashed in the face, the inhabitants of Kalisz are not fascists, they are not nationalists – said the organizers of the “Kalisz free from fascism” march on Sunday. The participants of the march strongly condemned the anti-Semitic events of Thursday.

The march under the slogan “Kalisz free from fascism”

A march under the slogan “Kalisz free from fascism” was held in Kalisz. This is a reaction to the events of November 11, when the reprint of the “Statute of Kalisz” from the 13th century, a privilege tolerating Jews, was burned in the city during an anti-Semitic rally.

The event was reacted by members of the Committee for the Defense of Democracy, Citizens of the Republic of Poland, Kaliski Bank Równości, Nowa Left, Platforma Obywatelska and Poland 2050. They invited Kalisz citizens to participate in the march.

Several hundred people responded to the appeal; They gathered at the statue of Adam Asnyk to condemn the events of November 11. The inhabitants of Kalisz brought with them banners with slogans: “Kalisz free from fascism”, “Stop hate”, “My homeland is humanity”.

Michał Witkowski from KOD said to the gathered that “Kalisz was spit in the face (…). Kalisz residents are not fascists, they are not nationalists. People with different political views came here, but all respect human rights, there are no racists, xenophobes and anti-Semites among us “- he declared.

Letter from representatives of the Union of Former Kalishans and Their Descendants in Israel

Then he read a letter from the representatives of the Union of Former Kalishans and Their Descendants in Israel.

“As Israeli Jews who emigrated from Poland, we are proud of our country of origin and its culture. We know that the recent extremist demonstration in Kalisz does not represent the majority of Poles and Polish culture. In every country there are groups of people who must hate someone or blame them. for all the troubles taking place in their country. Also in Israel there is such a small group that we are ashamed of. We are glad that the majority of the population condemns them and the vote for them is low “- it was written in the letter.

Councilor Piotr Mroziński from Poland 2050 said that “Kalisz is not a hostile, racist or anti-Semitic city.” He recalled that several days ago the city council and the president awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of the City of Kalisz to the world-famous expert in the field of humanitarian and criminal law and human rights of judge Theodor Meron – a Jew who was born in Kalisz. “We are proud of him” – emphasized the councilor.

Katarzyna Urbaniak from the Citizens of the Republic of Poland said that she had a great grudge against the mayor of the city for allowing the march. MEP Karolina Pawliczak from the Left and MP Mariusz Witczak from the Civic Platform spoke in a similar vein.

“What happened on November 11 in our city is a shameful episode that should never have happened, but someone allowed it and I will not forgive the city’s authorities for opening the gates of this wonderful city to brown fighters. We do not agree to it” – said MP Witczak. He added that “the wisdom of governance is a test that seems to be done every day, and the president of Kalisz shamefully did not pass it and we will remember it”. In response, the audience chanted “disgrace”, “to resign”.

President Krystian Kinastowski informed the audience that “there was no consent to the march, because the president does not give consent to such events in any form”. He stressed that the march was not terminated because there was “a huge risk that it would run out of control, blood could spill and the city would be destroyed”. He stated that he would defend his decision. He called on the residents to be careful about politicians who take advantage of this type of opportunity to “tease and tease” residents.

The incidents in Kalisz were condemned by President Andrzej Duda

In the case of the events of November 11, the prosecutor’s office initiated proceedings following a notification submitted by the mayor of the city.

The incidents in Kalisz were condemned by President Andrzej Duda. “I strongly condemn all acts of anti-Semitism. The barbarism perpetrated by a group of hooligans in Kalisz is in contradiction with the values ​​on which the Republic of Poland is based,” the president wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

The head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Mariusz Kaminski, expressed “the hope that the people who organized the shameful and scandalous assembly in Kalisz on November 11 will suffer legal consequences.” The spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Łukasz Jasina, condemned them. The anti-Semitic speeches were also condemned by the chairman of the Committee for Dialogue with Judaism of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Rafał Markowski.

Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jair Lapid, wrote after the event that “the terrifying anti-Semitic incident in Poland reminds every Jew of the power of hatred that exists in the world.” He considered the position of the Polish authorities condemning the events in Kalisz to be important and necessary.

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The march under the slogan “Kalisz free from fascism”. photo: PAP / Tomasz Wojtasik

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